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Winged Mercury

Lee Lawrie with colorist Leon V. Solon

American, born Germany. 1877 - 1963

Above Channel Gardens Entrance of 620 Fifth Avenue

The Roman god Mercury has been used to symbolize Britain’s worldwide strength in the 1930s, and here the gilded figure is depicted on a mission, rapidly flying over blue-green waves. His helmet signifies power and protection, while the small wings on his heels symbolize swiftness. This panel stands for the wealth and vitality of the British merchant fleets that built the empire and sailed the seas. The intaglio relief, meaning carved or engraved into the stone without any areas being higher than the surrounding stone, is a classic Art Deco architectural embellishment.

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